Everyone Should Be Social Distancing

The Coronavirus—specifically COVID-19—is the talk of all social media, the topic of all news coverage and the most recent pandemic. Generally, symptoms are similar to the flu; fever, body aches, cough and nasal congestion. The virus spreads through droplets in the air to anyone in a six foot radius. Some suggest that it can also survive on surfaces and in the air for short periods of time. COVID-19 should be considered very dangerous due to the lack of a vaccine and the lack of a cure. 

On March 13, Superintendent Dr. Bridget Gough announced the closing of all Walpole Public Schools until March 30. Since then, Governor Charlie Baker has announced that all Massachusetts schools will be closed beginning March 17, and will remain closed until May 4, a long time period in which most students will be doing online assignments. In addition, Baker is limiting restaurants to only serve take-out or delivery, and prohibiting gatherings of groups larger than 25 people. On March 23, he ordered the closing of all non essential businesses.  In an Instagram post by the Centers for Disease and Control (CDC), the CDC is recommending that for the next eight weeks events with more than 50 people should be canceled. In another post, they are enforcing social distancing, so all people should be staying within their homes with certain exceptions only.

In order to stop the spread of the virus, all people that do not have a necessary reason to leave their homes should stay within their house. The only people that should be leaving their homes on a regular basis are those that are working in jobs that are crucial during this time, such as health care professionals, including doctors and nurses. Families should only allow one family member to leave at time, and that should only be to go to the grocery store or a pharmacy, and in case of an emergency. Socializing with family and friends is not included as a necessary reason for leaving home.

The biggest issue with COVID-19 is that many people that pick up the germs throughout their day are asymptomatic, meaning they will show no symptoms. However, those people still have the ability to spread the germs to others, and simply using hand sanitizer—which works to kill bacteria, not viruses—and frequently washing hands is not enough. Additionally, those that do demonstrate symptoms have a two to 14 day period following exposure before becoming sick. This gives people that are unaware they are coming down with the virus a long period of time to spread it to family, friends and strangers, just by being within the same area. 

Considering that it is 2020, there are plenty of things that people can be doing inside of their homes to stay in contact with others. It is understandable for people, such as high school seniors, to want to go spend time with their friends. However, being safe now and spending time with them later is better than spending time with them now and increasing the risks of an uncertain future. 

It is a scary time, and society is fortunate enough to have the technology and wide variety of entertainment to keep everyone busy at home for the next couple weeks or months until this issue is resolved.